By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
Crisis is brewing between 111 communities under the aegis of OML30 Community Development Board (CDB) and Operators of OML30, Heritage Energy Operational Services in Delta State over its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), AUTHENTIC News Daily has gathered.
The Communities claimed that the company has breached its agreement entered with them.
The Communities vowed to vehemently resist the move by company.
They warned that failure of the company to heed the warning against the introduction of Non-Governmental Organisation and consultants would force community actions, which would lead to the shutdown of its oil operations in Delta State.
The crisis if not carefully handled, may threaten the production of Nigeria’s largest oil field.
Leaders of the Communities at press briefing expressed dissatisfaction over alleged breach of agreements accused the company of allegedly introducing “divide-and-rule” tactics to create a crisis environment in the operation of its facilities.
At the end of a meeting of the CDB and Communities Representatives Committee, the Chairman of the CDB, Hon.Morris Idiovwa, claimed that the leaders of all the communities observed that the company has reneged on its side of the Global Memorandum of Understanding,GMoU signed with the communities.
Idiovwa said the leaders had cause to believe that the new development, which he said started towards the end of 2017, was a deliberate strategy to create a crisis situation in the area, a pretext for the introduction of a consultant organization.
Idiovwa, who spoke in the presence of all the President-Generals and Chairmen of the various clusters from the 111 Communities said,“It was observed in the meeting that the OML 30 is at the brink of a
crisis that could lead to the shutdown of operations in OML 30. It has
come to the attention of OML 30 that the peaceful environment being
enjoyed by the operators, Heritage Energy Operational Services, is at
the brink of a fall, therefore the leadership has come together and
has taken a decision.
“We are aware that Heritage Energy Operational Services is planning to
introduce an NGO and a consultant to take over the affairs of OML 30’s
GMoU and community relations. The leadership of OML 30 has unanimously agreed that we do not want to deal with any consultant or any NGO, which will come to the assets to disrupt the peaceful process and operation we’ve been enjoying.
“Also, the leadership of OML 30 wants to categorically state that
Academic Associate Peace Works (AAPW) is not welcomed into OML 30 to deal with our communities as we are all ready to take over the GMoU as well as the community relations exercise of our communities. The leadership is competent and we are ready to deal with the company;
Heritage Energy on issues bordering on community and GMoU affairs.
“We want to use this medium to appeal to the state government, the
operators of these assets, to NPDC to call whichever NGO they are
intending to introduce to OML 30 to withdraw them out of the asset and
tell Shoreline and AA Peace Works to stay away with their consultant,
otherwise, the communities have decided that any NGO or consultant
would be met with stiff resistance”.
President-Generals of Oleh,Oguname and Afieserhe Communities,Chief James Obeowe,Joseph Ibuje and Victor Otumemene in a chat with newsmen at the end of the
meeting corroborated the claims of the CDB, warning that attempt to sabotage the existing order of interaction between the company and the communities would inevitably result to the shutdown of operations.
In a brief reaction to the community’s apprehension and threat, the General Manager of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited,HEOSL, Celine Loader, said the company had promised to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with its host. communities, adhering to the GMoU.
Loader added that issues raised by the CDB and the communities would be investigated and addressed.
“Heritage Energy Operational Services (HEOSL), the Operators of OML30,have in the last year of operations, nurtured and sustained peaceful and mutually beneficial relationships with all OML30 Communities, working through the tenets of GMOU and its recognized governance structure which is the Community Development Board,CDB.
“There has been some unfortunate delays to the GMOU Review process,
but I cannot say that that amounts to “HEOSL shirking its responsibilities” and I’m certain that any developments or allegations
of vested interests working against the shared interests of the Joint
Venture Partners and the Communities would be investigated and addressed in the appropriate manner”.